Tribute to Mr. Robert A. Pinkerton - 1920 - 2013

Mr. Robert A. Pinkerton was the Guyanese version of a Mensch, a man of integrity and honor, a man of fortitude and firmness of purpose. He wore a stern face that hid an easy humor, because that face was the image of the burden of his inner passion and vision to ensure that every child of God, that is every person, deserved a chance to succeed. It was a passion based on two other firmly held beliefs that asserted: without God, nothing is possible, and without hard work and discipline, nothing is achievable. At the tender age of 30, this incredible, quiet force of nature, made the bold, entrepreneurial step of establishing and leading a secondary school - Cambridge Academy - with his own funds and faith. Thus began 45 years of educating, motivating and creating students whose contributions continue to enrich the lives of others in Guyana, the Commonwealth, America, Europe, and throughout the world, be they managers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers and or from other disciplines and technologies. He was a talented teacher who not only developed students but motivated and enabled teachers, who sometimes were a mere 4-5 years older than their students, to deliver outstanding results at the College of Preceptors, Senior Cambridge and G.C.E. examinations. He rewarded these teachers by ensuring that they received their salaries every month even when that meant that he went home to his family with empty pockets and hands.

This brilliant, yet humble man did not lead from the front or from behind, but led from the center: from the head and the heart. He kept his own light under the proverbial bushel so that the light of his students would shine even more brightly. So as we mark the end of this sojourn on earth, we say simply: Thank you, Mr. Pinkerton, for teaching us to achieve, to live and to give. We will forever let your light shine through us and radiate from our head and heart.

Go gentle into your new dawn!

Frank L. Douglas, PH.D., M.D.


Mr. Robert A. Pinkerton 2008 Reunion Speech